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What do people not like here? Lack of entertainment #1 gripe

Planning survey shows small town feel a desired trait

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Survey Results: What kind of place would you like Pickens County to be in 20 years? In this “word cloud” graphic the size of word reflects the number of responses. 

 

Pickens County has begun the year-long process of updating their Joint Comprehensive Plan, with a recent public survey revealing concerns about the county’s future and suggestions planners say will be valuable. 

Members of the public have been asked to participate in the state-mandated process. Pickens County Planning & Development Director Richard Osborne has called the plan a “general vision for the future,” and said it could impact issues like zoning, emergency management planning, ordinances and public safety. The plan must be completely updated every 10 years for the county to be eligible for certain grants and funding. 

A stakeholder planning session was held  Tuesday, June 20th. There were 15 members of the public in attendance, including Pickens County Tax Appraiser Roy Dobbs, Talking Rock council member Cheryl Sams, the city of Nelson clerk, two representatives from Pickens Arts & Cultural Alliance, Jasper council members Anne Sneve and Sonny Proctor, and City of Jasper employee Lonnie Waters.  

Ethan Calhoun, planner with the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission who led the meeting, said he was blown away by the number of people who responded to the survey.

“You had 743 responses,” he said, pointing to another Georgia community of a similar size that had around 100 responses. “That is a really good response rate.” 

The presentation included data about Pickens County, most of which came from the 2010 Census, as well as local survey results where members of the community were asked to respond to a variety of questions about the current status and future needs in the county. 

 See this week's print or online editions for full story including survey results, charts, and comments from members of the public in attendance.